When contacted for the 100thAnniversary of the Cleveland Play House, Jonathan Bolt wrote: “I am not sure Facebook can hold all the memories I have…” The Play House “was the place I finally learned how to act—then direct—and then (almost) how to write a play.” Jonathan joined the Resident Company in 1967 and quickly became a core member of the group, playing 14 leading roles by 1973. He soon began directing as well as acting, and became known in the company as an “actor’s director,” leading 16 productions by the time he left in the late ‘70s. He returned in 1984 to direct the world premiere of Arthur Miller’s The Archbishop’s Ceiling. His play Threads, loosely based on his early life in North Carolina, premiered at CPH in 1979 and had a continued life in regional theatre. Jonathan continued to have a vibrant career and, since 2005, has been the Company Director of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts Third-Year Performance Company in New York City.
Heritage Award Winner
Pat Eversole has been an integral part of Cleveland Play House in a career that has spanned five different decades. Pat’s first CPH position was the night operator, fielding calls and, literally, connecting wires to keep CPH connected. The operator station was housed in the ticket office and so, in true CPH fashion, Pat became an ‘early multitasker’ when pressed into service as a ticket office representative. There she took great care of patrons and honed her skills in customer service, knowing by heart the sometimes unique qualities and preferences of CPH subscribers. While there, Pat also became adept at reconciling box office settlements, a talent that would serve her well as she transitioned full time into Accounting, where she made certain the CPH lights stayed on – and often placated clamoring vendors. In true ‘the show must go on’ fashion, Pat has made her mark in the way most appreciated by her fellow CPH employees: by making certain payroll was done EVERY week, even when that meant interrupting her vacation, coming in during a Valentine’s Day blizzard, or strategically scheduling her honeymoon so as to not miss payroll. However, perhaps what is truly most appreciated by all of those who value Cleveland Play House, is Pat’s love – and knowledge – of CPH and its people. This was again evident throughout the Centennial season preparation when it was not unusual for staff members to veer from the CPH archives and instead utter the three words that were guaranteed to get the answer, “Let’s ask Pat.”
Dean Gladden is Managing Director of the Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas. Prior to joining the Alley, Dean was Managing Director of Cleveland Play House for 19 years. He was responsible for the administrative, financial, marketing, facilities and development aspects of the theatre. Over the years, Dean has overseen the production of over 300 plays and established international exchanges with the Czech National Theatre in Prague, the Hungarian National Theatre in Miskolc, the Slovak National Theater in Bratislava, and the New Experimental Theatre in Volgograd, Russia. Dean has taught arts management classes at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, Bowling Green State University, University of Houston, University of Akron, and in Budapest, Hungary under the sponsorship of the United States Information Agency. In the history of Cleveland Play House there have only been three Managing Directors, of which Dean was the longest serving.
In the early days of Cleveland Play House, the office staff numbered fewer than four people working with Max Eisenstat in the one-room box office on East 86thStreet. Leonore joined them in 1938 and was immediately immersed in all functions from accounting to manning the ticket dock at performance time. She assumed responsibilities and knew the inner-workings of the theatre so well that she was the obvious successor to Max Eisenstat on his sudden death in the 1955-56 season. Formally named Play House Manager in 1958, she was second in command to Director K. Elmo Lowe until they both retired in the spring of 1969. Upon retirement, she joined the Women’s Committee and continued to volunteer until her death in 1986. Of her, the critic Peter Bellamy wrote: “Because of her ability and complete dedication, she was the glue that held the Play House together.” Leonore was such an important part of our Cleveland Play House family and we are pleased to induct her into the Hall of Fame, posthumously.
Will Rhys was a dynamic contributor to Cleveland Play House starting in the late 60’s when he arrived with the National Theatre of the Deaf acting company for a performance, and to lead a workshop with the Cleveland Play House Resident Company. Will later joined the Resident Company in 1977, and over ten years appeared in over 30 plays and directed about 20 productions at CPH. In 1985, he was appointed Interim Artistic Director and re-invigorated Play House stages with memorable productions until 1988. Over his fifty-year career, Will has performed on Broadway, off-Broadway, and in regional theatres across the country. Between 1992-2000, Will served as Artistic Director of the National Theatre of the Deaf. During recent years, Will has been acting and directing in regional theatre around the country.
Resident Company of Cleveland Play House
Joseph J. Garry, Jr.
George Gund II
Frank & Dorothy Draz
*The Women's Committee of Cleveland Play House
Stanley & Barbara Meisel
Elizabeth Flory Kelly
Josephine R. Abady
Mrs. John B. Dempsey
Walter & Jean Kalberer
Mrs. Austin B Chinn
David O. Frazier
Jane Iglauer Fallon
William M. Jones
Richard P. Oberlin
Marilyn E. Brentlinger
K. Elmo Lowe
Charles S. Brooks
Walter L. Flory
Julia McCune Flory
Robert E. Frankel
Mary Elizabeth Klein
G. Robert Klein
Kenyon C. Bolton
*Heritage Award Winners
The Allen, Helen and Outcalt theatres are located at Playhouse Square
1407 Euclid Avenue Cleveland, OH 44115
Administrative Offices and Education Center
1901 E. 13th Street, Suite 200 Cleveland, OH 44114 (216) 400-7000
7401 Detour Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44103